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Football fever heats up gridiron

There might be frost on the rooftop but there’s definitely heatin the furnace. Football playoff fever is up a notch this week withthe addition of the Class 5A and Class 1A teams.

Cooler football weather has arrived. Friday night’s crowdsshould be loud and enthusiastic. Remember, kickoff is 7 p.m., 30minutes earlier than normal. Be there or be square.

Brookhaven’s Panthers (6-4) find themselves in a rematch with anold nemesis in the South Pike Eagles (10-1). Coach Greg Wall mustbring his Eagles to King Field tomorrow night and the veteran coachis deeply concerned about playing Brookhaven a second time.

Coach Tucker Peavey’s Panthers have been improving each week.They lost 28-14 to South Pike at Magnolia four weeks ago despite anoverwhelming advantage in final statistics. “Stats are for losers,”one old coach grumbled after a game many years ago.

Obviously, it’s the final score that counts the most.

For sure, its’s a whole new season for the playoff teams. Throwout the records and make sure your chinstrap is tightly snapped.Helmet-busting time has arrived.

At Enterprise, Coach Ricky Deere’s Yellow Jackets are gearing upfor a Class 1A road game at Union (8-3). Deere’s Jackets (7-4) beatBogue Chitto 45-20 last Friday night to secure No. 4 seeding in theRegion 4-1A standings. The Jackets got an assist from St. Aloysiuswhen the Flashes kicked Natchez Cathedral out of the playoffpicture, giving Enterprise the fourth rung.

Wesson’s Cobras (10-1) are fired up and ready to host theLumberton Panthers (10-1) in the second round of the Class 2Aplayoffs. It should be a classic game in Co-Lin’s Stone Stadiumtomorrow night. Coach Ronald Greer’s Cobras crushed Richton in theopening round.

The Franklin County Bulldogs (9-2) challenge unbeaten powerhouseNewton County (11-0) at Newton tomorrow night in Class 3A action.Coach Anthony Hart’s Bulldogs bounced Carthage in last week’sopening round.

Obviously, the Hazlehurst Indians (9-2) are on the warpath asthey entertain Heidelberg (9-2) in another Class 3A showdown. CoachWillie Brown’s Indians disposed of Philadelphia last Friday nightin the opening round.

Professor Hoopla, B.S., was modeling the latest in featheryheaddress after hearing the latest weather report for Friday night.He’ll have to wear a stocking cap or a beaver hat to stay warm.

Last week, Hoopla picked the winners of 20 games and got 17right. Some folks want him to run for mayor and open aprognosticating parlor.

Here’s a preview of this weekend’s winners starting with aThursday night special.

Louisville at Southern Miss: Cardinals use a strong aerialattack to bring down the Golden Eagles. Louisville 31-21.

South Pike at Brookhaven: For the Eagles, a return trip to theClass 4A state championship game must go through King Field. SouthPike 28-14.

Lumberton at Wesson: This looks like a defensive struggle butboth teams have horses on offense, too. Wesson 24-21.

Enterprise at Union: Yellow Jackets appear to be on a roll.Enterprise 17-14.

Franklin County at Newton County: Bulldogs produce a strongfirst half but the Cougars crank it up in the fourth quarter.Newton County 28-14.

Heidelberg at Hazlehurst: The Indians are for real but they mustplug the Oilers. Hazlehurst 22-20.

Holmes at Jones County: Fresh from a shocking, 3-0 win overPearl River, the Bulldogs sparkle on defense in Ellisville but fallshort of the Bobcats in Saturday’s Mississippi Association ofCommunity/Junior Colleges state championship game. Jones County13-6.

Tennessee at Mississippi State: Both teams are struggling thisseason but the Volunteers have enough depth to prevail inStarkville. Tennessee 33-13.

Prairie View at Jackson State: Tigers win their third straightgame and tune up for the Alcorn Braves. Jackson State 38-16.

In other Magnolia State action, Alabama State should smackValley State 28-10, Mississippi College should stop East TexasBaptist 27-13, Alabama A&M should ambush Alcorn State 28-14,Belhaven should edge Virgnia-Wise 18-13, Trinity should trounceMillsaps 31-17 and Arkansas- Monticello should dump Delta State24-12. Ole Miss has an open date to develop a defense.